Are you planning to sell your home? If so, we have plenty of useful tips to help you when putting your property on the market!
Do your homework
You have decided you want to sell your property; it is understandable that you want to rush things and get your home on the market as soon as possible! But it pays to do a little bit of homework first.
Before you decide on an asking price, you have to think like a buyer! Walk in their shoes. So, if you were buying a house, what would you do? You would do a bit of online shopping that’s what! Start searching on the Internet and look for properties that are similar to yours, i.e. the same amount of bedrooms and in the same area. Be realistic. Don’t include properties that have more features than yours do. This allows you to get a good picture of what else is on the market and how much other homeowners are charging.
Now you have done your homework, it’s time for a little outing! Spend a few weekends visiting open houses in your neighbourhood. This is a tactic you may wish to use to market your home, so it’s good to see how other people host them. Also, you will get a good lesson in the dos and don’ts of staging, as you will be viewing from the buyer’s eyes.
Do I even need an estate agent?
Are you considering cutting out the estate agent? Many home sellers go down this path, and many live to regret it… either that or they come to their senses a few weeks later! Yes, an estate agent will take commission and you have fees to pay. But will you really be complaining about that when they sell your home?
A high-quality estate agent is invaluable when selling any property. Their skill, expertise and local knowledge are imperative. They bring so much value by providing information on everything from the state of the market, to advertising your home, to conducting yourself at a viewing, to estimating the value of your property.
They present you with many great ways of advertising your home. Not only will they provide you with a For Sale board to put outside their home, but they will also market your property on their website and in their shop window.
One of the best things about using an estate agent is the fact that you have someone by your side for the entire process. If any problems arise, they will be able to deal with them. They know all of the legalities, they can negotiate on your behalf and they are protected by a complaints process.
How to choose the right estate agent to ensure your property sells in a tough market
It’s a big decision that can backfire with terrible consequences. Some estate agents are still stuck in the past and in a competitive market, buyers can find they end up changing estate agents two or three times throughout the process before their house is finally sold. To save yourself some angst when looking for the right firm to market your property, here are two simple ways to find out if your estate agent is up to speed with modern marketing methods.
- Check their accessibility. We live in a world where people are increasingly interested in searching online while on the move. The majority of people now have access to tablets and smartphones, and fully expect to be able to navigate around websites on these. Make sure your agent’s website is responsively designed, mobile-friendly and allows the potential buyer who’s just driven past your for sale sign to access your full property details while on the go.
- Check they use social media – and well! Do they actively use Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest? Do they contribute to industry discussions and general conversations online about property issues? This can really reveal whether they know their stuff – and whether you will benefit from that knowledge.
Making the money you need from a sale
Is it a case of every penny matters with selling your home? Do you need to make the sale and have a certain amount of money left over so you can move on to the next chapter? If so, use the following three tips to ensure you get your hands on the amount of cash you need…
- Home staging – Home staging can add thousands of pounds to your home and it can make it sell a lot quicker too! Employing a professional home stager will cost quite a bit of money. But you don’t need to do this! Make sure you make the most of skip hire and de-clutter, clean thoroughly, paint in neutral shades, make your home look spacious, and add some nice finishing accessories – such as subtle scented candles and flowers.
- Set your price right and be confident in it – When you need to get a certain amount of money from your sale it can be very tempting to price your home higher than necessary to test the market. Truth is, this rarely works! Instead, do your research and get several valuations, then decide on an asking price and stick to it.
- Tell your estate agent – Make it obvious to your estate agent that your primary objective is getting the amount of money you have decided on rather than selling your house quickly.
A lesson in good marketing vs poor marketing
Potential buyers are very interested in the number of bedrooms, bathrooms and whether your property has any garden to speak of. That’s self-evident. However, these details are the very basic, minimum requirements and are only enough to get you on the long list of options for viewing. To make it to a buyer’s shortlist of properties to view, you need to be very upfront about why they really ought to make an appointment to see your home.
Sit down with your estate agent and brainstorm the reasons why your home is better than any other similar property on the market today. What is its unique selling point, in marketing terms?
For an easy insight into this, think about what it was that made you buy it in the first place? What have been the main highlights of the time you have been living there and how has the house contributed towards those? Whether it’s great schools within walking distance or a conservatory you have used time and again for family dinner parties, there is sure to be some aspect that makes your home stand out over others in the area.
Concentrate your marketing activity on these key factors, and your home is more likely to attract the interest it deserves.
Professional photography is your ticket to standing out in today’s market
If you are wondering why your home is not selling while others in your area are apparently flying off the shelves, as it were, it’s time to go back to basics. It is more likely than not a problem with your marketing techniques, rather than an inherent problem with your home itself.
One key area to review is photography. What pictures are available out there for potential buyers to view? After all, these are the first intimate contact viewers have with your home and can often influence their decision as to whether to come and see the property first hand or not.
The pictures should be appealing – note first of all that we say pictures in the plural! An external shot is all well and good, but people also want to see what’s inside!
Make sure internal photos are taken with curtains and blinds open, to maximise the natural light in the room. Don’t publish photos of cluttered rooms or with evidence of pets plainly visible.
Ensure shots are cropped professionally to remove unwanted elements such as wheelie bins or cars on the street outside.
And if single shots aren’t creating the interest you need, why not consider commissioning a digital video of a walk of the house? This can really highlight the flow, the space available and pinpoint any unique selling points or traditional features!
When NOT to host a viewing!
It is easy to think that any time is a good time for a viewing! Sadly that’s not always the case. Your home may be looking beautiful, but you have to be mindful of what is going on around you…
Once your house is on the market it is a good idea to keep up to date with all of the local events. The last thing you want is to host your viewing at the same time as a sports event. Buyers can’t exactly leisurely view your home whilst there are loud chants and screeches going on outside!
Does the daily commute create a bit of commotion around your home? If so, avoid organising a viewing around this time! Your buyers will simply assume that this is the noise level and hustle and bustle they can expect all of the time. So much for a peaceful life!
The same rules apply if you live near a school. Not only will your buyers have to make it through a sea of children to get to your front door, but also they will probably struggle to find somewhere to park and this can be highly frustrating! They may think the road is always this congested.